By Charles Sercombe
So, what happens now to those candidates who claimed residency in Hamtramck and also in another city?
Unless someone makes a complaint with state officials or files a lawsuit, probably nothing.
Well, almost nothing. For school board candidates Nasir Sabuj and Mohammad Huda, who claim a 100-percent Homestead tax exemption for houses they own in Warren, it could mean they will lose that exemption since they claim residency in Hamtramck — and they will have to pay back school taxes they were exempt from paying.
By definition of claiming a 100-percent Homestead exemption, the homeowner owns and occupies their dwelling.
Sabuj’s situation is a little messier. He also claims 100-percent Homestead tax exemption for a house he owns in Hamtramck. By law, you can claim only one Homestead exemption.
Huda won a seat on School Board, but Sabuj lost his bid.
Warren Assessment Department officials said they will review those exemptions in light of The Review’s investigation into the property and voter records of school board candidates and local elected officials.
Hamtramck City Clerk August Gitschlag said it’s out of his hands to raise an issue over whether either candidate is qualified to run for office here.
“I don’t have investigative jurisdiction,” Gitschlag said.
One person who could raise an issue is City Councilmember Anam Miah, who also ran for school board in the November election.
He came in right behind Huda, and if Huda were kicked out of office, Miah would be in line to take his place.
Miah did not return several calls for comment.
The Review investigation also found that City Councilmember Abu Musa says he lives in Hamtramck while his wife lives in a house she owns in Warren. Musa said he is not separated from his wife.
His situation isn’t without precedent. Former Councilmember Cathie Gordon also claimed Hamtramck residency while her husband remained behind in their Sterling Heights house where Gordon also claimed a Homestead exemption.
November 15, 2014 at 1:29 am
As I recall, the City of Hamtramck LOST the suit against Cathie Gordon since they simply just gave up – threw in the towel – after squandering $50,000.00 in attorney fees to remove her from office.